There’s no denying that Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign changed the face of politics, and the Democratic Party, forever. Considered a fringe candidate from the start, the senator from Vermont was relatively unknown prior to his presidential bid, despite earning the title as the “longest-serving independent member of Congress in American history.” All of that changed when his campaign took the Democratic party by storm, setting up a tight primary election for frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
While Sanders lost the election, in his new book, How Bernie Won: Inside the Revolution That’s Taking Back Our Country – And Where We Go From Here, Sanders’ long-time advisor and campaign manager Jeff Weaver outlines the ways Sanders “won” the Democratic party – and the country. Weaver is scheduled to visit St. Petersburg Sept. 6.
Weaver will join the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club, a politically nonpartisan group focused on educating citizens on political issues, at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. Weaver will give a talk on his book, which relays the first-hand experience of a fringe political campaign that defied the conventional politics of the time, and will then entertain questions from Tiger Bay Club members. Guests can attend the luncheon event for $35.
Weaver started working with Sanders in 1986, as a campaign staffer on his Vermont gubernatorial campaign. when he was still Mayor of Burlington, Vermont. Weaver was just 20 years old. “I’ve been with him for 30 years and he’s articulated the same message the whole time,” said Weaver in an interview with Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks.
“When we started the campaign he was at 3 percent in the national polls,” said Weaver. “He was articulating an agenda which the mainstream media and the establishment was calling extreme and radical – things like a 15 dollar minimum wage, Medicare for all, tuition-free public colleges and universities, massive investments in infrastructure, criminal justice reform, expansive immigration reform.
“All of these things were considered to be on the fringe. And what we saw during the campaign was this incredible groundswell of people at the grassroots who came out for this agenda. And in fact now this is the official agenda of the Democratic Party by and large.
“In that sense, Bernie did win. And we’ve sparked a movement and he’s sparked a movement in all of us.”
Jeff Weaver at Suncoast Tiger Bay Club
Where: St. Petersburg Yacht Club (11 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33701)
When: Sept. 6 11:30 a.m.- 1:15 p.m.
Cost: $25 for Tiger Bay Members/$35 for guests
Tickets and details available here.
The Suncoast Tiger Bay Club’s next event is Oct. 12 at 5 p.m. It will feature Mitch Landrieu, former mayor of New Orleans .